How I Spent 24 Hours Phone-Free
I started my 24-hour technology fast at 9:00pm on Monday night after I got home from my last class. I chose Tuesday because I have simulation lab every other week. Last week was an off week, which meant I didn’t have to spend all day and week preparing and stressing out about it. Monday night was pretty tough because I normally like to listen to Pandora in order to fall asleep. I ended up staying up late talking to my roommates. I didn’t miss my phone, but attempting to have a conversation with people while they are on their phones can be frustrating. You try to make eye contact but everyone else is occupied looking at their phones.
On Tuesday, I didn’t set an alarm because I was able to sleep in that day. Since my body is used to waking up early every morning, I only slept until 8:00. I wanted to go for a run outside but without music, I knew I wouldn’t last long. I ended up going to our apartment clubhouse to use the gym but without my headphones, I did not last there nearly as long as I normally would have.
To keep track of time, I wore a watch for the day. Honestly, it was easier than having to constantly reach for my phone and putting it back and making sure I don’t lose it. I didn’t have work that day until 3PM and again at 8PM so I had plenty of spare time. Without the distraction of my phone, I chose to deep clean my apartment. I cleaned my room, made my bed, rearranged my entire closet, wiped down all my tables, and bleached my entire bathroom. I hated not having music, but a couple of minutes into cleaning, one of my roommates decided to join me and played music on her speaker. Together, we cleaned our kitchen and living room. Before we knew it, it was about 1:30pm. I took a shower, got ready, and got to work on time. Being phoneless at work was very easy.
After my first shift that day, I decided to go to the library because I knew I would be too tempted if I was home. I went to Dimond library, where I managed to get a small study room to myself and got to work. I used the computer that was provided in the library since I knew I forgot to turn my notifications off on my laptop and didn’t want to get distracted. I think this was the hardest part of the day, since I normally do my work with Facebook open, and a radio station on Pandora playing. Knowing I only had a limited time until my next shift at work, I knew I could get plenty of work done without the distraction of social media—and I did. I finally finished all the little assignments that was not due until later in the month I knew wouldn’t take me long. I got to work on time at 8:00pm, and by the time work ended at 11:00PM, it was past the 24-hour mark.
Overall, it was a productive day without my phone. This isn’t the first time I’ve taken time away from it. Over the summer, when I felt as though I’ve been on it too much, I turned my phone off for an entire week. I also took a break from social media. However, I always had my laptop to listen to music and would always still check my email. The only real issue about deciding to do this on Tuesday was not being able to check my email for my job interview on Wednesday. I was nervous if any changes had been made and I would not be fully prepared.
Truthfully, a day without texting was more of a relief than a disadvantage. I have a large workload every day, so maintaining my friendships also requires a lot of work. Tuesday turned out to be a day to myself, and I was so productive - I loved it! I also gave notice to my closest friends ahead of time, so it really did not inconvenience me at all.
I think it is important for everyone to have this kind of day every once in a while, or when they feel they need it. It’s nice when you spend even one day not thinking about what everyone else is doing and solely focusing on your own tasks. It was also a nice surprise to see who contacted me during the time I put my phone on airplane mode. Taking time away from social media relieved me of my daily pressure of having to do more than I have to. By the end of Tuesday night, I felt accomplished because I only had my to-do list to complete, and had no one’s social media pages to compare it to.